Erik Torstensson and Jens Grede aren’t household names outside of the creative industries, but the women who dress in the Swedish duo’s booming denim line, Frame, certainly are. It therefore makes perfect sense for Frame’s first store to open its doors on Melrose Place, an area that invites visions of the brand’s long-limbed Angeleno audience.
Frame kicked off in 2012, and their model off-duty skinny jeans quickly found their way onto the statuesque frames of Karlie Kloss, Emily Ratajkowski and Miranda Kerr. The celebrity factor launched a global frenzy on the brand, and now the prospering company is ready to root down with their first store that features both the jeans and their new full slate of ready-to-wear.
'Frame is the fastest growing premium brand in the US, and our Melrose space and e-commerce launched almost simultaneously for us,' explain the pair of their rational behind going brick-and-mortar now. 'As our collections have organically grown into a greater depth of apparel in more luxurious fabrics and with the expansion of menswear, the timing felt right.'
Inside the store, 1,550 sq ft of Californian and Swedish heritage blend together as if they were always meant to be. Designed by Stockholm-based architect Christian Halleröd, the space is decorated with local Redwood and marble shelves and tables, but the coffered ceilings and minimally stocked salesroom suggest a quiet Swedish modernism.
There’s even a fireplace by the soft seating area, which features a stainless steel table. The table matches stainless steel light fixtures, revealing Torstensson and Grede’s interest in contrasting the soft texture of textiles with the hard and raw design.
'We wanted to stay true to the brand’s heritage, a fusion of European and Californian design sensibility while being aesthetically conscious of the local environment,' they say. 'We worked in harmony with the West Coast light and natural materials such as the Californian Redwood which we felt contrasts so beautifully with the marble and steel.'
Two lightboxes greet the shopper upon entrance, which will be occupied by rotating images. On opening day, the displays featured California landscapes photographed by Torstensson. (While Torstensson and Grede are based in London, Frame’s headquarters are only a few miles from the store in Culver City.)
The jeans themselves play perfectly with the location: made in LA, they are seemingly made to be seen while sipping an espresso at neighbor Alfred Coffee. A preview of the autumn ready-to-wear line reveals fitted peacoats and velvet dresses – chic essentials with a material twist – which promise a striking silhouette, giving shoppers something to look forward to.
Torstensson and Grede built their overall visual identity in the publishing industry (they actually met while working in the Wallpaper* art department), which they spun off into Saturday London, a creative agency, in 2003. Today, Saturday Group is made of several separate companies, including Industrie Magazine, a distribution company called Tomorrow, and Frame
Frame seems to be their main concern for the time being. Torstensson and Grede plan to open a second store on Greene Street in New York this summer, but the vibe will be completely different: 'We are excited about evolving our retail concepts, we don’t feel compelled to roll-out a template formula to each space and plan to create individually compelling environments with each location.'